2008 Heineken Cup Final

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2008 Heineken Cup Final
Event 2007–08 Heineken Cup
Date 24 May 2008
Venue Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Man of the Match Alan Quinlan (Munster)
Referee Nigel Owens (Wales)
Attendance 74,417

The 2008 Heineken Cup Final was the final match of the 2007–08 Heineken Cup, the 13th season of Europe's top club rugby union competition. The match was played on 24 May 2008 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The match was contested by Munster of Ireland and Toulouse of France. Munster won their second Heineken Cup title with a 16–13 win.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Munster did not play in their traditional red strip as they lost the toss - they wore blue - although they were in the same away dressing room as they were in 2006.

Fans gathered in Place du Capitole in Toulouse, and on O'Connell Street in Limerick, where they watched the match on a large screen.

Munster coach Declan Kidney, who guided the province to all their previous Heineken Cup final named an unchanged team for his final game in charge before he took over the Ireland national team. Toulouse the Heineken Cup winners in 1996, 2003 and 2005 had two changes from their semi-final victory over London Irish at Twickenham, with Maleli Kunavore partnering Yannick Jauzion in the centre and the French international flanker Thierry Dusautoir replaced Yannick Nyanga. Byron Kelleher was declared match fit just in time for the kickoff.



The final was hosted at the neutral Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, and refereed by Welsh referee Nigel Owens. Toulouse kicked off and managed to regain possession.[14] Toulouse dominated the early parts of the game,[15] and although they missed a penalty goal five minutes into the game, scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Élissalde successfully kicked a drop goal after eight minutes to give them a 3–0 lead. Toulouse continued to dominate territory but Munster winger Doug Howlett made a break in the 29th minute setting up a ruck close to the Toulouse try-line. Munster number eight Denis Leamy then broke from a ruck and attempted to place the ball over the try-line, but lost it forward in the process. From the resulting scrum, Toulouse were pushed off their own ball and Munster gained possession from which Leamy scored. The try was converted by Ronan O'Gara to give Munster a 7–3 lead after 33 minutes.[14][15] Three minutes later, Munster were awarded a penalty after Toulouse captain Fabien Pelous was caught not rolling away in the ruck. O'Gara kicked the penalty to extend Munster's lead to 10–3. On the 40-minute mark, Leamy was penalised for going into a ruck off his feet and Élissalde kicked the penalty to reduce Munster's lead to four points at half-time.[14]

Ten minutes into the second half, Munster centre Rua Tipoki threw a pass that would have given a try to Howlett, but the pass was deemed forward. One minute later Toulouse's Pelous kicked Munster flanker Alan Quinlan after Quinlan had stood on Pelous' hand.[16] After the intervention of touch judge Nigel Whitehouse, Pelous was shown a yellow card for his part in the incident and sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes. O'Gara kicked Munster's resulting penalty to give his team a 13–6 lead after 51 minutes.[14] Three minutes later, Toulouse fullback Cédric Heymans threw the ball into himself, then kicked ahead before collecting his own kick. He then chipped ahead which Toulouse's Yannick Jauzion kicked once more before wing Yves Donguy grounded the ball to give Toulouse a try. Elissalde converted the try to tie the scores at 13–13 after 54 minutes. Pelous returned from the sin-bin in the 61st minute, and four minutes later was penalised yet again for not rolling away in the ruck. O'Gara kicked the penalty which gave Munster a 16–13 lead. For most of the remaining time, Munster employed the pick-and-go technique, where the forwards would drive the ball from ruck to ruck in an effort to retain possession and use up time. Munster were penalised in the 78th minute after 17 phases of play; the ball was kicked downfield by Toulouse who counter-attacked. Munster turned the ball over, however, and won a kickable penalty with ten seconds left on the clock. Referee Nigel Owens stopped the clock until the penalty was taken; because of the risk of Toulouse recovering possession, the options of kicking for goal and kicking for touch were ruled out. Instead, Ronan O'Gara tapped the penalty and went into contact. With the ten seconds used up, the ball became unplayable in the collapsed maul, Owens blew the final whistle, and Munster had won 16–13.[14][15]


24 May 2008
17:00 BST
Munster Ireland 16 – 13 France Toulouse
Try: Leamy 33' c
Con: O'Gara
Pen: O'Gara (3) 36', 51', 65'
Report Try: Donguy 54' c
Con: Élissalde
Pen: Élissalde 40+1'
Drop: Élissalde 9'
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 74,417
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
FB 15 Ireland Denis Hurley
RW 14 New Zealand Doug Howlett
OC 13 New Zealand Rua Tipoki
IC 12 Tonga Lifeimi Mafi
LW 11 Ireland Ian Dowling
FH 10 Ireland Ronan O'Gara
SH 9 Ireland Tomás O'Leary
N8 8 Ireland Denis Leamy
OF 7 Ireland David Wallace
BF 6 Ireland Alan Quinlan
RL 5 Ireland Paul O'Connell (c) Substituted off
LL 4 Ireland Donncha O'Callaghan
TP 3 Ireland John Hayes
HK 2 Ireland Jerry Flannery
LP 1 Ireland Marcus Horan Substituted off
HK 16 Ireland Frankie Sheahan
PR 17 Ireland Tony Buckley Substituted in
LK 18 Ireland Mick O'Driscoll Substituted in
FL 19 Ireland Donnacha Ryan
SH 20 Ireland Peter Stringer
FH 21 Australia Paul Warwick
CE 22 Ireland Keith Earls
Ireland Declan Kidney
FB 15 France Cédric Heymans
RW 14 France Maxime Médard
OC 13 Fiji Maleli Kunavore
IC 12 France Yannick Jauzion
LW 11 France Yves Donguy Substituted off
FH 10 France Jean-Baptiste Élissalde
SH 9 New Zealand Byron Kelleher
N8 8 South Africa Shaun Sowerby
OF 7 France Thierry Dusautoir Substituted off
BF 6 France Jean Bouilhou Substituted off
RL 5 Argentina Patricio Albacete Substituted off
LL 4 France Fabien Pelous (c) Temporarily suspended
TP 3 Italy Salvatore Perugini Substituted off
HK 2 France William Servat
LP 1 South Africa Daan Human
HK 16 Argentina Alberto Vernet Basualdo
PR 17 France Jean-Baptiste Poux Substituted in
LK 18 France Romain Millo-Chluski Substituted in
FL 19 France Yannick Nyanga Substituted in
CE 20 France Florian Fritz
CE 21 Tonga Manu Ahotaeiloa Substituted in
FL 22 France Grégory Lamboley Substituted in
France Guy Novès

Man of the Match:
Ireland Alan Quinlan (Munster)

Touch judges:
Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)
Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Television match official:
Derek Bevan (Wales)
Fourth official:
Wayne Barnes (England)


Munster received their medals, and performed a lap of honour to the song "Stand' Up and Fight".[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Standley, James (24 May 2008). "2008 Heineken Cup final". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Reuters
  3. ^ RTÉ Sport Archived 27 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ The Scotsman
  5. ^ Reuters
  6. ^ The Telegraph
  7. ^ The Guardian
  8. ^ France24
  9. ^ "Rugby review of the year 2008: 10 highlights". The Daily Telegraph. London. 16 December 2008. 
  10. ^ The Telegraph Rugby review of the year 2008: 10 highlights http://www.espnscrum.com/scrum/rugby/story/96890.html ESPN
  11. ^ Scotland on Sunday
  12. ^ SkySports Match Commentary Archived 23 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Sport24
  14. ^ a b c d e Orlovac, Mark (24 May 2008). "2008 Heineken Cup final". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 May 2008. 
  15. ^ a b c Standley, James (24 May 2008). "2008 Heineken Cup final". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 May 2008. 
  16. ^ Hands, David (26 May 2008). "Munster secure second Heineken Cup title". The Times. London: Times Newspapers. Retrieved 26 May 2008.